Momo Fuzz

21 Apr 2024 | Works

A spring festival of colour and cuteness

So yeah, there’s a lot to unpack here!

Several things came together for me to produce this festival of cuteness. First off, Pantone decided that the colour of the year 2024 would be Peach Fuzz. Then there’s Momotarō, or “peach boy”, a Japanese folk hero, born from a giant peach. And finally, Kewpie, baby dolls that started as a comic strip in the early 20th century and also spawned a brand of mayonnaise.

It all started with the Pantone colour of the year. Why did they call it Peach Fuzz? Maybe they wanted their colour of the year to have a cute vibe? The peach is certainly the cutest fruit, although it does have some sexual connotations … 🍑

For this painting, I wanted the pure, innocent cuteness, so I chose the Kewpie doll as a symbol of innocence. Kewpie dates from 1909, when the character was created by Rose O’Neill for a comic strip. The first Kewpie doll was made in Germany from 1912.

The story of Kewpie mayonnaise adds another twist. It was created by Toichiro Nakashima in 1925, who wanted to improve American mayo. Back then, Kewpie dolls were crazy popular in Europe and the US, so they picked the name. An illegal copyright violation? Actually, no! International copyright laws didn’t exist back then, so a Japanese company could just use the name.

Then I threw in the Japanese folklore story. It goes like this: Momotarō is born from a giant peach, found by and old couple as they were washing clothes by the river. They discovered the boy when the chopped open the peach. He explained that he was sent by got to become their child. When he was grown up, he left home to fight the demons that marauded over their land, making friends such as a dog, monkey and pheasant, who helped him in exchange for a portion of dumplings. In the end, Momotarō defeats the demons and returns home with treasure.

That’s it, here’s my spring festival of colour and cuteness: Momo Fuzz!

PS: Not an advertisement for Kewpie mayonnaise!!



Something a bit old, but the ideas are still new